Day 7's Blue Ribbon is keeping kids safe at the Fair and year-round
STATE FAIRGROUNDS -- Veteran Fairgoers know to pick up a lost kid tag as they enter the fairgrounds - the bright orange tags are available at gates, or from Troopers, and you can see them on both kids and adults.
A state-wide, year-round program is also at the fair: Project Safe Child is set up in the Science and Industry Building. The New York Sheriff's Association brings in deputies from around the state, and it's a busy place as parents bring their children for free id cards.
The children are weighed and measured for height as parents fill out forms that also list address, contact numbers, allergies and medications and more.
The kids are also fingerprinted (electronically--no ink!) and photographed. Deputies say that should be done, before visits to Facepainters at the Fair.
Parents get a photo id, and the information goes into a state database, should it be needed for an Amber Alert or other emergency.
Deputy Katie Kruger, from the Onondaga County Sheriff's Department, was fingerprinting, taking pictures and uploading files as we visited. She suggests that parents get their children documented annually, so that the identifying information, and the picture, is current. She, and many parents, save the cards year to year so there's also a record of growth and changes.
Deputy Kruger says the Safe Child project is also a way for law enforcers to interact, positively. with children. Deputies take time to talk---and remind kids to stay in school, study hard and listen to parents, enforcing life lessons and showing that law enforcers are human, too.